Letters to the Editors

Letters to the Editors

Dear Editors,

I was listening to the news, and the man was talking to a lady about diplomacy and defense—about National Security Advisor John R. Bolton—that Bolton referred to the world as “a bad neighborhood...and that he/we (U.S.) should go around with a hand over the six on our hip, just incase.” I took offense to this statement; then processed it for a minute. He continued about being unsure if Bolton would start with diplomacy first, and how much or just go for the gun, and how soon.

I was raised in two of the so-called “baddest” neighborhoods in San Francisco, Hunters Point and the Mission in the ’80s and ’90s. I never knew why growing up in Hunters Point was considered “bad” until I began to visit more privileged friends’ houses. Their houses were big and full of luxuries and smaller families. The blocks had very little traffic and even less kids than ours, which in our eyes having a busy block full of kids was the best. The major difference between these “good” and “bad” neighborhoods was the level of income and economic security within them. The “good” neighborhoods were full of affluent and wealthy families and the “bad” neighborhoods were full of working class generally financially poor families, and many poverty stricken homes and public housing. And true enough, after I thought about the statement the man said, it did make sense that the world was, in general, like a bad neighborhood.

The issue of poverty isn’t a personal issue but a social one. The problem is global economic inequality. The reason isn’t because of any difference in family love or unity of community or lack of ability, skill or talent; or even desires for comforts between rich and poor neighborhoods or even countries. All people have similar needs and wants, which throughout history until capitalism, has been provided in abundance from the earth and oceans.

There’s no difference between two babies born on the same day in different neighborhoods, both are born equal and deserve the same quality of life no matter the financial, cultural, racial or religious differences. The reason they don’t have an equal start is totally out of the babies’ control. It all depends of the financial status of the families they’re born into. The difference between the two equally precious lives only comes down to economic inequality; an artificial inequality.

There are families in the good neighborhoods with more money then they could ever be spend in a lifetime, and the amount of interest earned in their savings account could set multiple families up for life. Similar is the case between a country like the U.S. and the countries of Central and South America, for example. There is enough wealth here and other first-world nations to raise the quality of all life on Earth if it were equally distributed. Furthermore there’s a global abundance of resources to provide for all for generations to come as long as the profit motive is removed.

This system the world has come to depend on is like heroin to an addict that doesn’t know of a solution to addiction. It seems like the only way the addict can love and function is with the drug. But there have been countless addicts who have overcome this illness, and although we need to continue to treat it one way or another, we’ve found that when we change our perception our thinking changes and we see solutions right in front of us that have been there the whole time we were blinded by the desire to escape reality.

Humanity has a desire to escape the reality that the capitalist system feeds off all life on earth, with no intention to sustain life as we know it. It consumes the very spirit that keeps it alive in a cannibalistic manner. We intuitively know this; we can sense it but don’t see it because we are blinded by ego, which the system so happily feeds into. So we continue to participate in the lie; that this brutal system and way of life is civilized when it’s anything but. And like John Trudel said, “if the system is civilized, the great lie is that being civilized is good for us.”

When the addict finally has had enough he or she will do anything it takes to become free from the bondage of addiction. By any means necessary, no matter what. This is the power of the human experience of spirit. The addict will seek to change the way he or she views the world and instead of trying to control the way we feel, begin to change what we can do so that we no longer feel the need to escape reality. I have hope that humanity will collectively come to the same conclusion that the beast called capitalism will continue to consume life on earth in the name of a profit margin until we have had enough, refuse to participate and use our intelligence to design and develop a sustainable way of life.

—Johnny Gould, May 12, 2019

Dear Editors,

“The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general population.” Its function is to “inculcate individuals with values, beliefs and codes of behavior…this role requires systemic propaganda.” (Manufacturing Consent by Chomsky and Herman, 1988)

The mass media deliberately and systematically manipulates the news. The media also diverts our attention by creating “threats.” This is achieved by manufacturing scapegoats. Certain groups such as immigrants, Muslims, Jews, and Blacks, etc., are labeled as criminals, animals, rapists, gangsters and drug dealers. These groups then come to be seen as a threat. Such media propaganda creates fear. Scientists have shown that our brain’s limbic system unconsciously controls the emotion of fear, and once activated can lead to violent aggression. (“The Roots of Human Aggression,” Scientific American, May 2019)

The mass media also manipulate the news by:

  • Diverting our attention from the fact that 99 percent of us have to sell our labor power to survive.
  • Diverting our attention from the fact that we working people share more similarities than differences.
  • Diverting our attention from questioning the profit driven economic system of corporate capitalism that puts profits over the needs of the world’s working class.

We must be mindful of how our brain’s limbic system is being manipulated by the mass media in an attempt to break down the natural solidarity of the working class.

Dr. Gordon is a California Family Physician who has written many articles on health and politics.